While families are our main focus, our homes appeal to a cross-section of people, from singletons and young professional couples to retirees and those looking to downsize.
We have created an unrivalled property delivery and management platform for this purpose. The platform, which includes our house building partners, provides a professional and secure supply chain for the acquisition of sites, and construction and management of new homes. It enables us to deliver homes across most parts of the UK.
Our housing developments bring strong social and economic benefits, and it is important to us that we help to foster thriving communities.
Before that, Sigma had a well-established track record in assisting with property-related regeneration projects in the public sector, acting as a bridge between the public and private sectors. Under partnerships established with local authorities, we delivered new schools, community facilities, retail, leisure and commercial buildings as well as new homes.
We have been delivering new homes for the private rented sector since 2014. Before that, Sigma had a well-established track record in assisting with property-related regeneration projects in the public sector, acting as a bridge between the public and private sectors. Under partnerships established with local authorities, we delivered new schools, community facilities, retail, leisure and commercial buildings as well as new homes.
Our first major portfolio of new-build rental homes for the private sector was for Gatehouse Bank and comprised 918 new family homes mainly in the North West of England. Construction started in 2014 and was completed in 2017.
A second phase of homes to rent was launched in December 2015 with a new Gatehouse Bank plc fund. Named ‘UK PRS Properties,’ the fund is principally supported by the Kuwaiti Investment Authority and institutional shareholders from the state of Kuwait. This phase comprises a further 684 properties across 7 sites and has a total development cost of £84m. As with Project Thistle, all properties are marketed under the ‘DifRent’ brand.
In 2016, we agreed a major funding arrangement with Homes England (formerly HCA), the executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, which was founded as the government’s housing accelerator. This facility enables us to self-fund housing delivery, and complements Sigma’s activity for institutional investors.
In 2017, Sigma created The PRS REIT plc, which was floated on the London Stock Exchange in May that year. The PRS REIT is the UK’s first quoted Real Estate Investment Trust to focus on investment in new rental houses for families. It has £900m (gross) of spending power, including gearing, and, as Investment Adviser, we are responsible for overseeing and managing the deployment of these funds, in line with the PRS REIT’s investment objectives. We are well down the track of delivery, and expect the PRS REIT’s first portfolio to amount to over 5,000 new homes, spanning the major regions of England.
The PRS REIT is building houses across the West Midlands and the North West, including Greater Manchester and Merseyside.
In May 2019, The PRS REIT plc reaches its 1000th property, situated at Prescot Park in Merseyside.
Sigma is also working with its partners on delivering modular construction methods, increasing the speed of delivery, safety on-site and reducing its carbon footprint.
Sigma launches its Scottish PRS Fund with investment from Scottish Government’s Building Scotland Fund. Sigma’s Scottish Fund will have an initial resource of £43m with £30m provided by the Building Scotland Fund in the form of a revolving credit facility.
Sigma also unveils plans to launch in London, working with Countryside properties to deliver new private rental apartments.
The PRS REIT delivers its 3000th property in September 2020. The property is situated at its Milard Grange site in Houghton Regis.
Sigma launches its industry leading market research report, which takes a look at the wider private rental market across the UK, including renter demographics, attitudes to renting, the rental journey and what is important to the modern day renter.
Sigma Capital and EQT Real Estate launch £1bn residential joint venture to deliver high quality, new build homes for private rent in Greater London. The venture is supported by Homes England and is targeting the establishment of an initial portfolio of c.3,000 homes with a value of £1bn. Homes are expected to be built and completed over a period of at least 5 years.
The PRS REIT delivers its 4000th property milestone under Sigma’s Simple Life brand in July 2021. The home was part of a housing development in Deeside consisting of 99 build to rent homes. The REIT’s end of year total comes to 4,489 homes.
Sigma also launches its brand extension ‘Simple Life London’ to the marketplace which saw its London BTR Investments JV with EQT Exeter take its first handover of apartments in London at Fresh Wharf, Barking.
Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, Sigma and it’s Simple Life brand position has remained strong and attractive to investment. In August, Sigma was successfully acquired by PineBridge Benson Elliot LLP, moving the company from a plc to privately-owned. The purchase was an all-cash offer of £2.01p per share, which represented a significant premium to the share price at the time. PineBridge’s backing of c.£3bn in to Sigma’s housing pipeline aims to deliver 15,000-20,000 new homes over the next 5 years.